When running out of inspiration, my advice is to look at what's in the cupboard or fridge and then experiment! This was a last-minute pudding for Stour Festival, created in the blink of an eye with some of my favourite ingredients - caramel, cream, meringue and nuts. It's difficult to give accurate quantities, as it's infinitely variable and totally divine. My only note would be that people can see the large chunks, but warn anybody whose teeth might have difficulty encountering some of the smaller ones!
|Caramel Meringue Cream with Caramel Shards|
Caramel Meringue Cream with Caramel Shards
4oz white sugar
¼ pint/140ml water
Handful of flaked almonds
¾ to 1 pint/400-600ml double cream
handful of little meringues (all the misshapen ones!)
Caramel/toffee sauce (either home made or from a jar)
more flaked almonds
Start by thoroughly greasing a baking tray, or using “silpat” which is a non-stick silicone oblong used in catering. In a small strong pan, boil the sugar and water until it forms a caramel – it goes bubbly and brown. Take off the heat and pour it onto the tray/silpat. Swirl the tray around slowly while the caramel is setting to get an even coat, then drop the handful of almonds on the top. Leave to get cold and hard. Toast another handful of almonds.
In a large bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Break in most of the meringues (large chunks, not powder), adding dollops of caramel and a few of the almonds.
Break up the caramel into large shards, mixing the little bits in with the luscious creamy, caramelly mixture. As when you are making an Eton Mess, the aim is to see the various different parts of the mixture – this recipe is all about imperfection!
Spoon the mixture into glasses or a large bowl, top with any remaining meringues and nuts, and add the caramel shards.